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The annual ‘Night of Lights’ returns to The Fort

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:10 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - The ‘Night of Lights’ has always been a holiday tradition for families in Fort Wayne, but because of the pandemic it couldn’t happen for at least a year.

This year, that tradition returned with thousands of people gathering downtown Wednesday night to watch the famous Santa and his reindeer light up.

The annual night is hosted by the Downtown Improvement District along with TriCore Logic.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this back in Fort Wayne. We really missed it last year,” Downtown Improvement District President Micheal Galbraith said. “It’s a chance to give thanks for our community, and anticipate the Christmas season.”

Night of Lights
Night of Lights(Fort Wayne's NBC)

It all began at 5:45 with several lights displays turning on around the city. Galbraith says he knows how important the tradition is for families.

“Now is the time to do it. You’ll never have this chance again with your kids,” he said. “Come out take a picture, make sure you get them riding on your shoulders, make sure you get them having a meal at a pizza place or a hot dog place or wherever it is downtown.”

A perfect view of the lights display was on top of Birdie’s Restaurant and Rooftop Bar. General manager Carmen McGee says it was a big night for them since they only opened about four months ago.

“Everyone comes out for this, gets bundled up, in the cold,” she said. “Everyone comes out for this, gets bundled up, in the cold. It’s really a Fort Wayne thing. To see it up here too? That’s pretty cool. It’s really a Fort Wayne thing. To see it up here too? That’s pretty cool.”

McGee says COVID-19 is still a risk so they have been wearing masks and making sure they control crowds, especially on a night like this one.

“It almost feels like we are out of it, we are still wearing masks,” she said. “People are still taking precautions, but we are trying to return to normal.”

You can find a full list of the holiday displays here.

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